On César Chávez Day, Senate GOP dishonors legacy of civil rights leader
Washington, DC-Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued the following statement to commemorate the birthday of legendary civil rights leader and founder of the United Farmworkers, César Chávez, which is celebrated tomorrow. Reid also condemned Senate Republicans for blocking a resolution last night to honor Chávez’s legacy, due to their insistence on adding controversial language related to immigration.
“I join today in the recognition of the legacy and contributions of César Chávez, an inspirational American who fought for social and economic justice for those who labor in the fields picking the food for our table. He tirelessly stood in the face of great obstacle and pursued dignity, justice, and equality. His example demonstrates how a courageous and determined individual can rise to meet significant challenges and improve the lives of others.
“Unfortunately, Senate Republicans objected to honoring the true legacy of César Chávez. Instead of joining Democrats to honor this great American with a resolution celebrating his life, the Senate GOP leadership last night decided that it was better to block the resolution, since they failed in their attempt to include controversial language related to immigration. This is outrageous and disrespects the legacy of this inspirational leader.
“As Congress considers immigration reform, we need to learn by César Chavez’s example, fix what has gone wrong, and restore order and dignity to our broken immigration system. We need to have bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform that strengthens border security, provides a path toward citizenship for undocumented immigrants, re-unites families, and creates tough and smart workplace enforcement. There are 11 million people living in the shadows of our society, and it’s time that we find out who they are and provide opportunities for them to pursue the American Dream.
“Chávez once said that: ‘If you are outraged at conditions, then you cannot possibly be happy until you do everything in your power to change them.’ Senate Democrats will continue to fight for the causes that made César Chávez the great American hero that he was. Whether it’s providing workers with the rights that they deserve, improving the quality of public education for our children, or providing affordable and quality healthcare to all Americans, César Chávez’s legacy continues to inspire us to make this great nation live up to its principles.”